Earlier this week, the Urban League of NWI presented a check for $2,500 to Aaliyah Stewart, founder of the ASW Foundation. Stewart, 20, plans to open the I AM THEM Hope Youth Center and is raising funds to cover renovation and operational costs for the facility which will be located in Gary’s Glen Park neighborhood on Broadway.
Two of Stewart’s brothers lost their lives to gun violence, and she is determined to honor their memory by providing a recreational outlet for area youth.
“We are proud to be able to support this ambitious, intelligent and incredibly strong young lady,” said Dr. Vanessa Allen-McCloud, President and CEO of the Urban League of NWI. “She has taken on a Herculean task that will undoubtedly change the lives of countless young people. She deserves our support.”
Stewart honors speaking engagements across the region discussing the need for positive programs that cater to youth. The ASW Foundation has been working to make a change since 2014 through mentoring programs, community outreach, school assemblies, an annual toy giveaway and back to school supply giveaway for children.
“I want to do my part to ensure that young people have a safe place to go learn, have fun and express themselves,” said Stewart. “Opening this youth center might even save some lives, and I’m definitely fine with that.”
For more information about the ASW Foundation or to donate, visit http://gofundme.com/team-iamthem.